tanner menard © 2018


I remember the ride & think I was maybe four. The long prairie roads of my Father’s ancestral Ishak territory were soft & blue crayoned by sky. I do not remember using his white football jersey as a dress but I have recalled the instructions & his ultimatum for years. The gulf clouds billowed & I was shaken by my first hard lesson in gender. You will be a man or be cast out. I remember the color of yellow in the air. Color of the sun as it appears in memory. Sound of his worn out old weight set & the synesthesia. Would later culminate in my absorption in the static landscapes of ambient music & experimental poetry. This is my undoing the unconscious pain of colonization manifest in the dreamless ideology of Catholicism. Swords so sharp that they need not exist. Only years later would I resurrect the knowledge of my families indigenous lineages & claim what could be called queerness. Now. Memory clouds technicolor into healing songs of my ppl. Our pplhood forms on edge of melody. We rest in happiness on the contour of sound. I rest edge & crest in the song of myself as a Q2S NDN.              At this point you may want me to use a comma or complete a sentence but the absence will serve as a fracture. The fracture is a method of escape. The clear path out is how I will never be trapped by this essay. You may yearn for clarity cohesion the imposition of a grammatical method but instead I give you my butterfly. Fluid. Flux. Endlessly Trans. Queer song. Liberty singing to the reader that I will identify within the stratas of colonialism as a non-binary individual. Identifying as a non-binary individual associates my thoughts & decisions with the reductive processes of Lacan & the feminist ideologies of european ppls. European ppls emanate & often impose their ideologies in an attempt to liberate themselves from imperialism. Through the trauma of imperialism european ppls have become disconnected from the Earth. I reject being colonized by these words but instead choose to use them as a sort of mirror. As an indigenous person I use the term non-binary in political solidarity with the emergence of the broad spectrum of transgender ppl. Breaking down the gendered barriers of english. Making space for the re-emergence of indigenous words and concepts of gender.  I do this because the prevailing western paradigm erases & atomizes the living spectrum.                                                                    In our Ishak language we once had a word to describe my state of being but it has gone to sleep. Non-binary & Q2S (queer two spirit ) are the closest words that I have. In this sense queerness & its language can be viewed as a sort of ufo. Emanation or apparition of the unconscious desire to plug back in to Earth’s original broadband. The names of our genders are singing through the fracture in the DNA melody. Dancing the data of quantum entanglement to all that exists. The monikers flower in our dreams & abductions.              Return us to Earth transformed.                      I have felt fractured like the sentences contained within this essay. Am seeking wholeness & looking for a way to bring myself into the web of relations rather than positioning myself in opposition. Grasp every correction of misgendering as an opportunity to decolonize imperialist notions that have choked natural expression of gender within our communities. Am actively giving myself the respect that I have always deserved.          The indigenous reappropriation of feminism is a linguistic arrow. It is pointed straight at your heart. The bow of the arrow that is aimed at your heart is the sinew of love. Offered from my heart. Yes I wish to pierce the center of the prevailing ideology with love of the Earth. Plant fruit trees in the fracture.                       As non-binary trans fluid queer ppl of all races I encourage us to utilize this moment of flux. Cast away the prison of the binary & place within void of language the star of our love. Let’s get supernova. The exploding star of inspiration for me are the works of queer trans & two spirit indigenous & latinx poets. & by indigenous include. Tommy Pico    Raquel Salas Rivera                Julian Talamantez Brolaski                  Christopher Soto                                 Rain Prud'homme-Cranford                        Joshua Whitehead. Include also CA Conrad who embraces their indigeneity as a person of european descent. Categorically reversing the fascist use of european indigeneity so often found in modern references to ancient european gods. These stars detonate in the long form of ‘IRL’ take root in the renegade computer program of ‘Full Metal Indigiqueer’ reconfigure language in ‘Of Mongrelitude’ rip open the heart in ‘Sad Girl Poems’ ‘While Standing in Line for Death’ edging closer to ‘lo terciario/the tertiary’ & immersed in ‘Smoked Mullet Cornbread Crawdad Memory’              May we once again take our rightful place within the human race & balance the growing schisms. Utilize systems of knowledge not to erase indigenous voices but to include the entirety of humanity. Search within the DNA. Resurrect the verity of existence. Love. Know our interconnectedness to the fibonacci series of life. In my own work I hope to remind the reader that we remain star. Twirl back into void. An endless procession of not moments. There is no moment. Existence is trans. We are only star. Reverberate


tanner menard is a poet and composer whose current work embodies their Metis, Indigenous and French lineage. Poems are their method of survival, a linguistic medicine of ambiguity which is certain that love prevails. Their poetry is the DNA of their hybridity, a double helix of gender and identity. As a composer of experimental music, menard has been published and anthologized in the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan on labels and netlabels such as Full Spectrum Records, Rural Colours, Tokyo Droning, Install, Slow Flow Rec, H.L.M., Archaic Horizon, Kafua Records and Milieu Music. menard’s poetry has been published in The Squawkback, Rabbit and Rose, Cloudthroat and The Mockingheart Review online journals & in Red Ink Magazine. Their poem ‘see eye my memory my’ was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Cloudthroat online journal. An album of poetry and ambient music in collaboration with Andrew Weathers is forthcoming on Full Spectrum Records.